To read this content please select one of the options below:

Decoding the data economy: a literature review of its impact on business, society and digital transformation

Andrea Sestino (Department of Ionian Law, Economics and Environment, Universita degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy)
Adham Kahlawi (Università degli Studi di Firenze, Florence, Italy)
Andrea De Mauro (University of Rome Tor Vergata, Roma, Italy)

European Journal of Innovation Management

ISSN: 1460-1060

Article publication date: 2 August 2023




The data economy, emerging from the current hyper-technological landscape, is a global digital ecosystem where data is gathered, organized and exchanged to create economic value. This paper aims to shed light on the interplay of the different topics involved in the data economy, as found in the literature. The study research provides a comprehensive understanding of the opportunities, challenges and implications of the data economy for businesses, governments, individuals and society at large, while investigating its impact on business value creation, knowledge and digital business transformation.


The authors conducted a literature review that generated a conceptual map of the data economy by analyzing a corpus of research papers through a combination of machine learning algorithms, text mining techniques and a qualitative research approach.


The study findings revealed eight topics that collectively represent the essential features of data economy in the current literature, namely (1) Data Security, (2) Technology Enablers, (3) Business Implications, (4) Social Implications, (5) Political Framework, (6) Legal Enablers, (7) Privacy Concerns and (8) Data Marketplace. The study resulting model may help researchers and practitioners to develop the concept of data economy in a structured way and provide a subset of specific areas that require further research exploration.

Practical implications

Practically, this paper offers managers and marketers valuable insights to comprehend how to manage the opportunities deriving from a constantly changing competitive arena whose value is today also generated by the data economy.

Social implications

Socially, the authors also reveal insights explaining how the data economy features may be exploited to build a better society.


This is the first paper exploring the data economy opportunity for business value creation from a critical perspective.



The authors would like to thank Carlo Mantini for his valuable contribution to the development of this study.

Since acceptance of this article, the following author has updated their affiliations: Andrea Sestino is at the “Department of Business Studies, University of Rome Tre, Rome, Italy and Department of Management, LUISS Guido Carli University, Rome, Italy”


Sestino, A., Kahlawi, A. and De Mauro, A. (2023), "Decoding the data economy: a literature review of its impact on business, society and digital transformation", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles